Read the first few chapters online, or scroll down to purchase INFINITY'S SHORE.
In the second book in the Uplift Trilogy, Infinity's Shore, it is truly the beginning of the end for the fugitive settlers of Jijo. As starships fill the skies, the threat of genocide hangs over the planet that once peacefully sheltered six bands of sapient beings. Now the human settlers of Jijo and their alien neighbors must make heroic — and terrifying — choices.
A scientist must turn against the benefactors she's been trained to love. A heretic must rally believers for a cause he never shared. And four youngsters find that what started as a simple adventure — imitating exploits in Earthling books by Verne and Twain — leads them to the dark abyss of mystery.
Meanwhile, the Streaker, with her fugitive dolphin crew, arrives at last on Jijo in a desperate search for refuge. What the crew finds instead is a secret hidden since the galaxies first spawned intelligence — a secret that could mean salvation for the planets and its inhabitants... or their ultimate annihilation.
The uplift series of novels and short stories is set in a future universe in which no species can reach sentience without being "uplifted" (genetically brought to sapience) by a patron race, which then "owns" the uplifted species for 100,000 years. But the greatest mystery of all remains unsolved: who uplifted humankind? Earth has no known link to the Progenitors — and that terrifies client and patron species alike. Should its inhabitants be allowed to exist?
indiebound.org US: paperback
Kobo.com US: ebook
Powell's US: paperback
A limited number of autographed hardcover first edition copies of Infinity's Shore are available for sale for $10. Go here for ordering details.
Is Existence: an uplift "prequel"? In many ways, yes. David Brin's bold newest novel explores the ultimate question: Billions of planets may be ripe for life, even intelligence. So where is Everybody?
An illustrated companion to the series, Contacting Aliens: An Illustrated Guide To David Brin's Uplift Universe, is a fun tour of the many alien races in the Uplift Universe.
Learn more about all of Brin's novels and books here.
These three stories are set in the uplift universe. Learn more about all of Brin's shorter fiction here.
Infinity's Shore has been translated into French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, and Spanish. Here are some of the covers of the foreign and foreign-language publications.
"Well paced, immensly complex, highly literate ... on full display here is Brin's extraordinary capacity to handle a wide-ranging narrative and to create convincingly complex alien races ... superior SF."
"Here, again, David Brin displays the considerable expertise in universe-building which has garnered him numerous awards. And, again, he proves himself to be a very gifted storyteller."
"I suppose you could call this book 'apocalyptic' in the sense that the Sacred Scrolls of the Jijoan sooners have always predicted a 'Judgement Day' from above. Now it's come, and everything is going to hell, because you know what? When starships descend from on high, suddenly all those sacred stanzas just don't quite prepare you for the sheer pants-soiling, hoof-tripping, wheel-blocking, claw-catching terror of the moment."
"If you want exciting, thought provoking, and moving hard science fiction with characters you care about, then you should buy this book."
David Brin's science fiction novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages. They range from bold and prophetic explorations of our near-future to Brin's Uplift series, envisioning galactic issues of sapience and destiny (and star-faring dolphins!). Learn More
Short stories and novellas have different rhythms and artistic flavor, and Brin's short stories and novellas, several of which earned Hugo and other awards, exploit that difference to explore a wider range of real and vividly speculative ideas. Many have been selected for anthologies and reprints, and most have been published in anthology form. Learn More
Since 2004, David Brin has maintained a blog about science, technology, science fiction, books, and the future — themes his science fiction and nonfiction writings continue to explore. Learn More
Who could've predicted that social media — indeed, all of our online society — would play such an important role in the 21st Century — restoring the voices of advisors and influencers! Lively and intelligent comments spill over onto Brin's social media pages. Learn More
David Brin's Ph.D in Physics from the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. Every science show that depicts a comet now portrays the model developed in Brin's PhD research. Learn More
Brin's non-fiction book, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy?, continues to receive acclaim for its accuracy in predicting 21st Century concerns about online security, secrecy, accountability and privacy. Learn More
Brin speaks plausibly and entertainingly about trends in technology and society to audiences willing to confront the challenges that our rambunctious civilization will face in the decades ahead. He also talks about the field of science fiction, especially in relation to his own novels and stories. To date he has presented at more than 200 meetings, conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings.Learn More
Brin advises corporations and governmental and private defense- and security-related agencies about information-age issues, scientific trends, future social and political trends, and education. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More
Do not enter if you want a standard "Party" line! Contrary Brin's community pokes at too-rigid orthodoxies, proposing ideas and topics that fascinate and infuriate.
reviews and recommendations
"Brin slathers a sober and hard-edged landscape at one turn, and in the next pinpoints with pixel clarity the humanity all jumbled up in the epic action. There are no mutant cockroaches or other absurdities. We are in the Oregon mountains, crawling through bracken, or hiding in the snowdrifts because a sniper has pinned us down. On every page we see the dirty, lined, broken faces of hardscrabble existence, but we also see them light up at the simple gesture of receiving a piece of mail from a long-lost loved one. And we see mythopoesis right in our faces."
— SF Site Reviews
"Brin is a physicist of note who has been a NASA consultant, and he knows how to turn the abstractions of particle physics into high adventure.... He excels at the essential craft of the page-turner, which is to devise an elegantly knotted plot that yields a richly variegated succession of high-impact adventures undergone by an array of believably heroic characters."
— Thomas M. Disch, EW.com
"This is a fun novel, rich with ideas, that examines on a very human level the ramifications and side effects of our ambitions and the things we take for granted. It's also a hard-boiled murder mystery with levels of physics and metaphysics that work your brain. But for me, as always, it's David Brin's characters that really pull me into the story and keep me up until three in the morning."
— Barnes and Noble Review
"Brin's canny sensitivity about the complexities of human nature transcends gender barriers in a novel that is not so much about 'women's issues' as the necessity for change and variability. As in Earth, the author demonstrates his ability to empathize with all his characters. This complex and gripping tale belongs in most libraries."
— Library Journal
Those who hunger after wisdom often seek it
in the highest heights, or profound depths.
Yet, marvels are found in shallow sites
where life starts, burgeons, and dies.
What pinnacle, or lofty mount,
offers lessons as poignant
as the flowing river —
a crashing reef —
or the grave?
— from a Buyur wall inscription, found half-buried in a marsh near Far Wet Sanctuary
* What strange fate brought me,
* Fleeing maelstroms of winter,
* Past five galaxies? *
* Only to find refuge,
* On a forlorn planet (nude!)
* In laminar luxury! *
So he thought while performing swooping rolls, propelling his sleek gray body with exhilarated tail strokes, reveling in the caress of water against naked flesh. Dappled sunlight threw luminous shafts through crystal shallows, slanting past mats of floating sea florets. Silvery native creatures, resembling flat-jawed fish, moved in and out of the bright zones, enticing his eye. Kaa squelched the instinctive urge to give chase.
For now, he indulged in the liquid texture of water sliding around him, without the greasiness that used to cling so, back in the oily seas of Oakka, the green-green world, where soaplike bubbles would erupt from his blowhole each time he surfaced to breathe. Not that it wasn't worth the effort to inhale on Oakka. There wasn't enough good air on that horrid ball to nourish a comatose otter.
This sea also tasted good, not harsh like Kithrup, when each excursion outside the ship would give you a toxic dose of hard metals.
In contrast, the water on Jijo world felt clean, with a salty tang reminding Kaa of the gulf stream flowing past the Florida Academy, during the happier days on far-off Earth.
He tried to squint and pretend he was back home, chasing mullet near Key Biscayne, safe from a harsh universe. But the attempt at make-believe failed. One paramount difference reminded him this was an alien world.
— a beating of tides rising up the continental shelf
— a complex rhythm tugged by three moons, not one.
— an echo of waves, breaking on a shore whose abrasive sand had a strange, sharp texture.
— an occasional distant groaning that seemed to rise out of the ocean floor itself.
— the return vibrations of his own sonar clicks, tracing schools of fishlike creatures, moving their fins in unfamiliar ways.
— above all, the engine hum just behind him... a cadence of machinery that had filled Kaa's days and nights for five long years.
And now, another clicking, groaning sound. The clipped poetry of duty.
* Relent, Kaa, tell us,
* In exploratory prose,
* Is it safe to come? *
The voice chased Kaa like a fluttering, sonic conscience. Reluctantly, he swerved around to face the submarine Hikahi, improvised from ancient parts found strewn across this planet's deep seafloor — a makeshift contraption that suited a crew of misfit fugitives. Clamshell doors closed ponderously, like the jaws of a huge carnivore, cycling to let others emerge in his wake... if he gave the all clear.
Kaa sent his Trinary reply, amplified by a saser unit plugged into his skull, behind his left eye.
* If water were all
* We might be in heaven now.
* But wait! I'll check above! *
His lungs were already making demands, so he obeyed instinct, flicking an upward spiral toward the glistening surface. Ready or not, Jijo, here I come!
He loved piercing the tense boundary of sky and sea, flying weightless for an instant, then broaching with a splash and spume of exhalation. Still, he hesitated before inhaling. Instruments predicted an Earthlike atmosphere, yet he felt a nervous tremor drawing breath.
If anything, the air tasted better than the water! Kaa whirled, thrashing his tail in exuberance, glad Lieutenant Tsh't had let him volunteer for this — to be the first dolphin, the first Earthling, ever to swim this sweet, foreign sea.
Then his eye stroked a jagged, gray-brown line, spanning one horizon, very close.
He stopped his gyre to stare at the nearby continent — inhabited, they now knew. But by whom?
There was not supposed to be any sapient life on Jijo.
Maybe they're just hiding here, the way we are, from a hostile cosmos.
That was one theory.
At least they chose a pleasant world, he added, relishing the air, the water, and gorgeous ranks of cumulus hovering over a giant mountain. I wonder if the fish are good to eat.
* As we await you,
* Chafing in this cramped airlock,
* Should we play pinochle? *
Kaa winced at the lieutenant's sarcasm. Hurriedly, he sent back pulsed waves.
* Fortune smiles again,
* On our weary band of knaves.
* Welcome, friends, to Ifni's Shore. *
It might seem presumptuous to invoke the goddess of chance and destiny, capricious Ifni, who always seemed ready to plague Streaker's company with one more surprise. Another unexpected calamity, or miraculous escape. But Kaa had always felt an affinity with the informal patron deity of spacers. There might he better pilots than himself in the Terragens Survey Service, but none with a deeper respect for fortuity. Hadn't his own nickname been "Lucky"?
Until recently, that is.
From below, he heard the grumble of clamshell doors reopening. Soon Tsh't and others would join him in this first examination of Jijo's surface — a world they heretofore saw only briefly from orbit, then from the deepest, coldest pit in all its seas. Soon, his companions would arrive, but for a few moments more he had it to himself — silken water, tidal rhythms, fragrant air, the sky and clouds....
His tail swished, lifting him higher as he peered. Those aren't normal clouds, he realized, staring at a great mountain dominating the eastern horizon, whose peak wore shrouds of billowing white. The lens implanted in his right eye dialed through a spectral scan, sending readings to his optic nerve — revealing steam, carbon oxides, and a flicker of molten heat.
A volcano, Kaa realized, and the reminder sent his ebullience down a notch. This was a busy part of the planet, geologically speaking. The same forces that made it a useful hiding place also kept it dangerous.
That must be where the groaning comes from, he pondered. Seismic activity. An interaction of miniquakes and crystal gas discharges with the thin overlaying film of sea.
Another flicker caught his notice, in roughly the same direction, but much closer — a pale swelling that might also have been a cloud, except for the way it moved, flapping like a bird's wing, then bulging with eagerness to race the wind.
A sail, he discerned. Kaa watched it jibe across the stiffening breeze — a two-masted schooner, graceful in motion, achingly familiar from the Caribbean seas of home.
Its bow split the water, spreading a wake that any dolphin might love to ride.
The zoom lens clarified, magnified, until he made out fuzzy bipedal forms, hauling ropes and bustling around on deck, like any gang of human sailors.
... Only these weren't human beings. Kaa glimpsed scaly backs, culminating in a backbone of sharp spines. Swathes of white fur covered the legs, and froglike membranes pulsated below broad chins as the ship's company sang a low, rumbling work chant that Kaa could dimly make out, even from here.
He fell a chill of unhappy recognition.
Hoons! What in all Five Galaxies are they doing here?
Kaa heard a rustle of fluke strokes — Tsh't and others rising to join him. Now he must report that enemies of Earth dwelled here.
Kaa realized grimly — this news wasn't going to help him win back his nickname anytime soon.
She came to mind again, the capricious goddess of uncertain destiny. And Kaa's own Trinary phrase came back to him, as if reflected and reconverged by the surrounding alien waters.
* Welcome to Ifni's Shore... *